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Friday, May 13, 2016

Daraya yesterday: People waiting for food are denied, then shelled

This morning Bissan Fakih of The Syria Campaign sent out this email that described the travesty of justice and humanity that took place in Daraya, Syria yesterday. I'll let him layout the facts. The question is can a world that continues to allow this sort of thing to go on even survive in the long run?
Dear friends,

Yesterday morning I was on Skype with Ahmad from the local council of Daraya, a town outside Damascus besieged by the Assad regime. Malnourished people were gathering at the town’s entrance hoping to receive aid trucks for the first time in three years.

But it all went wrong. Every time I spoke to Ahmad the updates got more and more devastating.

First, the UN and Red Cross showed up at a regime checkpoint outside the town around midday without any food. There was only baby milk, medicine and vaccinations on the convoy. People in the town were furious. Children in the town were dizzy with malnutrition. Families had been going days without anything to eat.

Then, Ahmad told me that soldiers had removed medicine off the trucks. A UN representative told them they were calling the Russians to try and persuade Assad’s forces to get it back on.

Hours later, without delivering a single thing, the convoy left.

Finally, and most tragically of all, the regime then shelled the people waiting for food. A father and his son were killed. Five others were injured.

Daraya is still starving. The regime won’t let aid in by land. We need urgent measures now to get food and medicine to people before the unthinkable happens.

More than a dozen countries are flying in Syrian airspace, including the US and the UK. They have the means to get this aid into Daraya that cannot be blocked by the Assad regime. Today, when these donor countries will be unpicking yesterday’s tragic failure, let’s call on them to airdrop aid to Daraya before it’s too late:

https://act.thesyriacampaign.org/sign/airdrop-aid-syria-now/

If you’ve already signed the petition, call the UK and US missions at the UN and demand airdrops immediately:

UK COUNTRY MISSION TO THE UN (Geneva)
Call: +41 (22) 918 23 00

USA COUNTRY MISSION TO THE UN (New York)
Call: +41 (22) 749 41 11

UK COUNTRY MISSION TO THE UN (New York)
Call: + 001 212 745 9200
Email: Philip.Reed@fco.gov.uk

USA COUNTRY MISSION TO THE UN (New York)
Call: +001 212 415 4000
Email: IbrahimME@state.gov

(The Geneva offices are open now. The New York offices will be open between 9 AM and 5 PM EST.)

Let’s do everything we can for Daraya right now,

Bissan

The Syria Campaign is building an open, global movement working for a peaceful future for Syria. We are people from all over the world who are coming together to tackle what the UN has described as “the greatest humanitarian tragedy of our time".

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Also this morning Democracy Now discovered the Syrian Revolution and carried an excellent segment on Syria in which Amy Goodman interviewed Yasser Munif of Emerson College. Regular readers of this blog know that we have been very critical of Democracy Now's coverage of Syria in the past. This was a breath of fresh air. Amy's intro begins:
As the death toll in Syria’s five-year conflict reportedly reaches half a million people, we look at how Syrians are working at the local level to survive and organize in the midst of war—and to keep the revolutionary spirit of the 2011 Syrian uprising alive. We are joined by Yasser Munif, a Syrian scholar who specializes in grassroots movements in Syria, who describes the ongoing work of media activists, journalists, medical crews and rescue workers. "They don’t perceive the kind of work they are doing as humanitarian or relief work. They perceive it as the backbone of the revolution," Munif notes. "The revolution is still alive. It may be marginal, but if there is a ceasefire … it can come back. It is very much invisible and, for some, unthinkable." Munif is the co-founder of the Campaign for Global Solidarity with the Syrian Revolution.
Linux Beach will reprint the transcript when it becomes available.

Syria is the Paris Commune of the 21st Century!

Click here for a list of my other blogs on Syria

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